Over the last few months I have been struggling with the fact that for most of my life I haven't faired well with expressing myself. That statement covers a multitude of areas in my life, from my photography to my music, to the way I interact with people in my life. And I don't think I am alone in this battle.
At the core of this is a fear of being truly honest with ourselves, accepting how we feel, who we are, because if we share what's inside people will think we're crazy. Right? We won't be accepted. People will know we don't have it "all together". Instead we shelter our feelings and thoughts from the outside world, trying our best to show the side of us we think people want to see. We substitue "likes" for acceptance, "shares" for connection, doing more harm than good to ourselves in the process. I've been guilty of this, many times. There are things I haven't posted for exactly these reasons. A catalogue of photos that haven't seen the light of day because I don't think people will like them. Songs and stories I haven't written for fear of not being heard or read. True feelings not expressed because I don't want to be too vulnerable. But in the end, what good does that do me? Keeping some of my most honest, heartfelt expressions inside, only to have them gnaw at me from the inside out?
I have decided to throw caution to the wind with things that are important to me. As an artist I create things for me. They display my emotions and attitude, and are representative of a connection I have with a certain subject. That being said, I share my art in hopes that it speaks to other people, so they can possibly share in the connection. What I share should not be influenced by whether or not I think others will "like" it, but be an honest representation of me.
So let's be honest, always.